President of Houston FireFighters Association Responds
December 9, 2009

I received an email from Jeff Caynon, the President of  The Houston Professional Firefighters Association, regarding my earlier  post about Council Member Sue Lovell’s political mail piece targeting her council colleague Jolanda Jones.

 While Caynon says he didn’t have a problem with what I posted, he did what to reiterate that firefighters appreciate Lovell’s support.

He says she has fought for fairness and benefits for the men and women of the department.

Here is Caynon’s response: 

The nearly 4,000 men and women of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association regard Council Member Sue Lovell as a trusted friend. She is endorsed by our organization because she regularly fights for firefighters’ issues. Her recent mail piece was, in our opinion, an effort to do just that. Like nearly all of her City Council colleagues, she has been reasonable, respectful and responsive to the city’s needs. We appreciate her efforts and continue to support her.

Jeff Caynon  – President- Local 341

Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association

1907 Freeman

Houston, Texas 77009

Fight Between Council Members Exposes A Political Double Standard
December 9, 2009

Houston City Council member and mayor pro-tem Sue Lovell’s  campaign has sent out a political mail piece attacking  city council member Jolanda Jones.

Jones, who is seeking her second term, is in a runoff against  former State Board of  Education Chairman Jack Christie, a staunch conservative who has been endorsed by Dr. Steven Hotze.

You have likely heard  Hotze’s name a lot lately. 

 He is the mastermind of the political mail piece that was sent to thousands of conservative voters supporting Gene Locke for Mayor and attacking Annise Parker because of  her homosexuality.

I’m a little surprised  that all  of   the  “progressive democrats and bloggers”  who support Parker for mayor, have remained silent on what appears to be a  political double standard.

I guess it’s ok to criticize Locke, but not Lovell  for aligning with republiclans and appearing cozy with a conservative anti-gay political leader?

First, Lovell (who is openly gay like Parker) is in her own runoff race against Andrew Burks(who is African-American)  for a city council at-large  seat.

 Hotze has endorsed Burks and also criticized  Lovell’s gay lifestyle in the mail piece sent to conservative voters.

Second,  it’s very unusual for a sitting council member, who is also in a runoff race,  to  exhaust energy and money fighting against an incumbent colleague who shares most of the same progressive  and gay supporters.

So why the beef between two former close friends and colleagues?

Two years ago,  Jones recruited someone to challenge Lovell’s  position as a Democratic National Committeewoman from Texas.

(UPDATE: I received a call from a  Jones’ supporter. He said Jones did not recruit, but only  supported Rozzy Shorter who ran as a Obama delegate)

Jones, who supported Barack Obama, was upset that Lovell was backing Hillary Clinton in the party primary.

Also,  Jones’ style on council that has been described as “combative” by city hall staffers and elected officials.

Jones has also been a very vocal critic of the Houston Fire Department following an outcry  of  racism and sexism made by two female firefighters at Station #54.

Her tactics have angered many including  Jeff  Caynon, the President of   the Houston Professional Firefighters Association.

Canyon has  accused Jones of  calling him a “house Negro”  when he tried to defend the men and women of  the fire department.

Who knows what impact the flyer will have on the Jones vs. Christie matchup?

I do know that if  both she and Lovell are reelected, and Annise Parker is sitting at the mayor’s seat,  city council is going to get a lot more interesting to cover.

No one seems concerned about what appears to be a huge political double standard.

The Filing Deadline Has Passed – Let The Games Begin.
September 2, 2009

Houston City Council Member Melissa Noriega hosted a fun event on Wednesday night that drew dozens of  community leaders, political candidates and their supporters.

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“Let the Games Begin “   served as  a political fundraiser and official celebration to mark  the end of the filing period for the City of Houston elections.

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People interested in running for office had until 5pm Wednesday to file the necessary paperwork and pay a fee. The  party began thirty minutes later at Cafe Adobe near Shepherd and Westheimer.

As promised, there was plenty of  food, drinks and political gossip to keep people entertained throughout the night.

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Noriega was thrilled that she did not draw a last minute opponent to challenge her for the At-Large Position 3 seat she currently holds. Some of her colleagues are also breathing a sigh of  relief.  Newly elected district H council member Ed Gonzalez and District I council member James Rodriguez do not have opponents.

But , other incumbents will have to work the campaign trail to stay on city council, including Council Member and Mayor Pro-Tem Sue Lovell who has four challengers, District D Council Member Wanda Adams, who drew two opponents, and District E Council Member Mike Sullivan who has one opponent. (Jolanda Jones At-Large Position 5 is also being challenged, but she didn’t attend the event)

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Other candidates in the mix Wednesday night: Lane Lewis for District A, Noel Freeman for At-Large Position 4, Rick Rodriguez for At-Large Position 1, Karen Derr for At-Large Position 1, Steven Costello for Position 1, and Ronald Green for Controller.

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Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2009. Let The Games Begin!